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24th of April 1933

On This Day In Aviation History, another rather unknown aircraft made its first flight,

The Grumman JF Duck.

Designed for the US Navy and produced between 1934 and 1936 a total of 48 airframes were built. the prototype was known as the XJF-1 and was piloted by Grumman test pilot Paul Hovgard on its first flight. After 1936 an improved version was produced, the J2F Duck.

The JF-1 that was first ordered had the same Pratt & Whitney R-1830-62 engine as the XJF-1 prototype. The US Navy ordered 27 JF-1s with the first Ducks delivered beginning in May 1934 to Norfolk NAS. These early production series had provisions for mounting a machine gun at the rear seat facing aft, as well as a single bomb rack mounted under each wing, capable of carrying a 100 lb (45.4 kg) bomb or depth charge on each. The main float was also a Grumman design (Grumman Model "A") and like the prototype, it included retractable main landing gear, making the Duck a true amphibian. Ducks served as general/utility amphibians for photographic, target-towing, scouting, and rescue work.

Besides the US Navy also the US Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard used the aircraft. A special export version was developed for the Argentine Navy, the Gruman G-20.

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